Father's academic success plays a huge role in child's future success at school, as a child is seven and a half times less likely to succeed if father had failed to achieve, reveals a new study.
According to the study by Office for National Statistics, mother's education level was important to a lesser degree, with a child approximately three times as likely to have a low educational outcome if their mother had a low level of education.
The study also found that father's level of education is the strongest factor determining a child's, creating a self-reinforcing cycle of poverty and lack of achievement passed down from parents to children in Britain and low levels of education are the most significant reason for the persistence of poverty in the UK, with those with a low level of educational attainment being almost five times as likely to be in poverty as those with a high level of education.
Helen Barnard, policy and research manager at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said that there was little evidence that the cycle of poverty and educational outcomes was caused by low aspirations among poor families, but there is evidence that children and parents from poorer backgrounds develop lower expectations as children grow older - they stop believing that their children will be able to achieve high ambitions, or do not know how to help them do so.
The study was published in The Lancet.